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About the project


This site contains the results of the project "Electronic Corpus of Mediaeval English Manuscripts: Scientific and Technical Texts", funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (reference FFI2011-26492). The project has a twofold objective. First, the electronic edition of the late Middle English scientific manuscripts housed in the Hunterian Collection at Glasgow University Library and the Wellcome Library in London, displaying both the digitized images along with the corresponding diplomatic transcription. Second, the compilation of an annotated corpus of late Middle English Fachprosa from this material, the annotation comprising mark-ups, lemmas and POS-tags.

Apart from these objectives, additional tools are also being developed for the purpose:

  1. Texsen, to perform context-sensitive boolean and non-boolean queries in terms of word, lemma, and tag.
  2. Concordance Manager, to view the lemma-sorted concordances of each treatise.
  3. Word Search Tool, to view the words of each treatise in context and to consult the original MS images. A useful list of words and lemmas is available to ease the search.
  4. A semi-automatic POS-tagger which is still in progress.

This project is a follow up of two previous projects entitled "The Compilation of an Electronic Corpus of Late Middle English Scientific Manuscripts" (referenced HUM20074-01075FILO) and "Development of an Electronic Corpus of Late Middle English Scientific Manuscripts" (FFI2008-02336), both funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology under the supervision of Dr Antonio Miranda-García. These funding are hereby gratefully acknowledged.

From the very beginning, we have benefited from the advice and expertise of Professor Graham Caie, from the University of Glasgow (U.K.), who is responsible for the online digital edition of Chaucer’s Romaunt of the Rose (G.U.L. MS Hunter 409 V.3.7.), and of Professor Santiago González Fernández-Corugedo, from the University of Oviedo (Spain), who is the author of an edition of the Middle English The Owl and the Nightingale (1990) and of Edmund Spenser’s Amoretti and Epithalamion (1983), among others.


This project is the result of the collaborative effort of a research team from five different universities (Málaga, Glasgow, Oviedo, Jaén and Murcia), coordinated by Drs Antonio Miranda-García (until 2012) and Javier Calle-Martín (from January 2012). For further information on the members, follow the links below.

University of Glasgow
University of Málaga
University of Jaén


The schedule of the project spans from January 2012 to December 2015. Four main stages can be distinguished:

  1. manuscript selection and digitization
  2. diplomatic transcription and physical description of the treatises under scrutiny
  3. linguistic analysis and corpus annotation
  4. electronic publication of the editions


Traditionally, Fachprosa has been the Cinderella of textual studies, which have been mostly devoted to the edition and study of literary texts. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in scientific material for two different reasons, one linguistic and the other extra-linguistic. On linguistic grounds, scientific prose in the vernacular is now considered to be less artificial than poetry, being an appropriate input for linguistic analysis and the process of vernacularization of English. Extra-linguistically, on the other hand, most of this material is hitherto unedited, hence the limited access to these treatises for the research community.

All in all, the present project undertakes the electronic edition of several mediaeval treatises in the vernacular, many of them never-before-published, belonging to the Hunterian Collection at Glasgow University Library as well as the Wellcome Library in London. It thus grants free online access to these unedited material together with the diplomatic transcription for those not fully acquainted with the basics of mediaeval Palaeography.